Essay on Women In The Odyssesy

This essay has a total of 822 words and 3 pages.

Women In The Odyssesy

The Treatment of Women by Men in Homer's The Odyssey

Women in Homer's The Odyssey are judged mainly by looks. If important men and gods
consider a woman beautiful, or if her son is a hero or important king the woman is
successful. The way women in The Odyssey are treated is based on appearance, the things
men want from them, and whether the woman has any power over men.

During Odysseus' journey to the underworld he sees the shades of many prominent women. We
hear about their beauty, their important sons, or their affairs with gods. We hear nothing
about these women's accomplishments in their lifetime. Odysseus tells how Antiope could
"boast a god for a lover,"(193) as could Tyro and many other women. Epikaste was called
"that prize"(195) her own son unwittingly married. Some women are known for the deeds of
their sons, but never for a heroic deed of their own, their personalities, who they are,
and what they do independent of males. It seems the only accomplishment women could
achieve was being beautiful. Theseus "had no joy of"(195) the princess Ariadne because she
died before this was possible. Homer makes it sound as if Ariadne's life was useless
because she did not give Theseus pleasure. The only woman we hear of for a different
reason is Klymene, and we only hear of her because she "betrayed her lord for gold."(195)
This is the only time we hear of a woman for something she did, and once we do, it is a
negative remark.
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